Project Description

We Are Water: A Community Conversation

August 19, 2017

A collaboration with Disjecta and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Join us as we explore issues related to the vast and mighty topic that is WATER. Water as a resource. Water as a site of trade and exchange. Water and climate change. We will hear from artist, activists, environmental researchers from the Pacific Northwest, and you, the community. How do water issues play a role in the work you do? How do these issues relate to the place where you live? What does it mean to live on the Columbia River, the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region?

This program is part of an ongoing series related to the AGGV’s project Wa’witlala: The Pervasiveness of Water/Cannot Go Against the Tide. This is an enquiry based collaboration with artist Marianne Nicolson and AGGV curators Nicole Stanbridge and Michelle Jacques. Nicolson’s work addressing the Fraser and Columbia Rivers was the impetus for this concept, and guides the project. With Wa’witlala, the aim is to explore issues related to water from an Indigenous worldview and create space for discussions across cultures and disciplines. Through this project we hope to share the work that is happening by water protectors, artists, ecologists, and activists around the world. In this way we can collectively start to understand where we need to go and how we might get there.

Marianne Nicolson (‘Tayagila’ogwa), is an artist of Scottish and Dzawada’enuxw First Nation descent.The Dzawada’enuxw People are member nations of the Kwakwaka’wakw Peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. She has a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, an MFA, Masters in Linguistics and Anthropology and PhD in Linguistics, Anthropology and Art History at the University of Victoria. She has exhibited her work locally, nationally and internationally as a painter, photographer, and installation artist and has written and published numerous essays and articles. Her practice engages with issues of Indigenous histories and politics arising from a passionate involvement in cultural revitalization and sustainability.

Michelle Jacques is chief curator AGGV. She is of African-Caribbean descent, she was born and raised an uninvited guest on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, most recently the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit. Jacques was at the Art Gallery of Ontario for nearly twenty years where she organized many exhibitions of historical and contemporary art and had a particular interest in exploring the global relevance of local art and artists. In her current role at the AGGV she has seen the gallery through structural changes in staff and programming that address the institutions colonial history.

Nicole Stanbridge is curator of engagement AGGV and is of British, Scottish and Norwegian descent born on the traditional and unceded territory of the Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk). She lives and works as an uninvited guest on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen peoples. Prior to her role at the AGGV she has done curatorial, research, and writing projects with regional arts organizations including: the Maltwood Gallery (University of Victoria), Nanaimo Art Gallery, Open Space artist run centre. In her role at the AGGV her work focuses on bridging and restructuring the curatorial and educational aims of the gallery in order to deepen connections with, and be relevant to a range of communities.

Sara Siestreem,(Hanis Coos and American, 1976-) is from the Umpqua River Valley in southwestern Oregon. She is a Master Artist, Educator, and Theorist. Siestreem graduated Phi Kappa Phi with a BS from PSU in 2005. She earned an MFA with distinction from Pratt Art Institute in 2007. She is represented by Augen Gallery in Portland and her work has been shown in museums and figures in prestigious private and public collections nationally. She teaches studio arts at PSU and Traditional Indigenous Weaving Practices for The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians.

Tarika Powell, Sightline Institute, senior research associate and is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, where she received an American Bar Association fellowship in environmental law and interned at Southern Environmental Law Center. She received a Master’s of Education and undergraduate degrees in English and African-American Studies from Oberlin College. She loves that there are endless opportunities to engage in outdoor activities in the Pacific Northwest. In her free time, she enjoys visiting the many parks in Seattle. She has been involved in the 5,000 mile Totem Pole journey with the Lummi nation that brings attention to proposed coal, oil, and gas export terminals in the Northwest that threaten the environment and coastal economies, as well as the treaty rights of indigenous peoples such as the Lummi Nation.



August 19, 2017
7 – 9pm